Electric Vs LPG Powered Forklifts – Which is Better?

Electric Forklifts

When buying a new or used forklift, LPG and electric engines offer different lifting capacities and sizes to suit different working environments. So which is better for your needs? At Damoli, we are one of Australia’s leading supplier of a wide range of forklift services including sales, rentals, repairs and maintenance. Here we will look at the pros and cons of LPG and electric forklifts to help you make a more informed decision.

Electric Forklifts

Generally speaking, electric forklifts have a longer lifespan than gas powered versions. This is because they have fewer moving components.

Electric forklifts also require less maintenance – no engine servicing, or replacing of spark plugs, oils, fluids and filters.

Electric models are environmentally friendly – with no tailpipe emissions, you will have a cleaner and safer work environment, as well as know you are doing your bit to reduce emissions into the environment.

Quiet operation – with minimal operating noise, this can significantly improve workplace comfort and safety.

Excellent manoeuvrability – usually smaller than other types of forklifts and this compact size makes them extremely moveable, and perfect for a wide range of applications.

What About the Cons?

  • More expensive upfront purchase price.
  • Long charging time – batteries usually require 8 hours (or overnight) to charge. Employees must remember to place the batteries on charge or risk having a forklift that is out of action for a whole work day.
  • Often their lifting capacity is lower than their gas counterparts so be sure to check the capacity of the electric model you are looking at.

About LPG Forklifts

Also known as gas forklifts, LPG powered forklifts have traditionally been a popular choice for businesses who require a cost-effective and reliable forklift that can maintain full power throughout the day and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Lower Upfront Costs – Typically, they are significantly less expensive to purchase than electric versions, however, the costs involved in fuel and maintenance may be greater in the long run.

Less Downtime – Unlike electric forklifts, LPG models do not require hours to recharge. It generally takes around five minutes to refill or change an LPG cylinder.

Better Performance and Power – LPG forklifts have the ability to provide consistently strong power, have a better power to weight ratio and more responsive engines. Generally, gas forklifts, will be able to carry large loads at a faster rate, for a longer period of time.

High Weight Capacity – Many gas forklifts can carry loads of up to seven tonnes.

Versatility – These forklifts are suitable for outdoor usage as well as for use in larger indoor areas such as warehouses and storage facilities.

The Cons:

  • They emit fumes from the tailpipe, making them more harmful to the environment and potentially harmful to employees as well.
  • Ongoing servicing and maintenance is essential to keep them optimal working order, the costs of this will need to be factored into your operational budget.

Choosing the Right Forklift for Your Business

Whether purchasing a new or used forklift, it’s essential to consider your application and its needs. For food distributions centres or facilities with less ventilation, narrow aisles or confined spaces, an electric forklift, with no operating fumes and quieter operation, will be the better solution. However, if your forklift will be required both in and outdoors on a regular basis and needed to lift heavy loads for long periods of time, then a gas forklift will be ideally suited. If you are unsure, it is best to seek a professional option – reach out to the team at Damoli for expert recommendations to suit the individual needs of your business. Call us today or get in touch with us online.

Damoli Forklift Services offer one-stop shop for forklift hire, sales and servicing. We have a wide range of gas, diesel and electric forklifts ranging from 1 tonne right through to 45 tonne container handlers. We also have high reach forklifts and specialised scissor lifts available.